By Meg Upton
Greetings from Southern California. I’m back (at least virtually) after a much needed vacation of sorts. Call it self-care or what have you, but I needed to see the ocean, needed to see my son turn 19 by making him a feast of carne asada with homemade tortillas, and what’s more, I missed seeing my husband. Finally got to senior portraits for my QHS senior too.
I also came up with a plan to celebrate my daughter’s impending graduation because kids from Indian Valley really need to be feted for living through both COVID and fire and then graduating. I feel like if they can handle this last year they will be able to handle anything life throws them from here on out.
There is so much good news in our recovery, not the least of which is seeing neighbors continue to help neighbors. This might be most exemplified by the Wolf Creek 4-H these last weeks, using art to brighten up our world.
We have much to celebrate here in Indian Valley and much information to pass along as well, so I’ll get to it. Remember if you have anything you’d like to share with the community that affects Indian Valley, Indian Falls, or Canyon Dam, please send it on to [email protected] and we’ll get it in here for you. Here we go:
Wolf Creek 4-H
There will be a separate piece on this tomorrow but have you driven through downtown Greenville and seen all the nifty barn quilt hearts painted by the Wolf Creek 4-H? Take a slow drive through and see them planted on wooden sticks in cleaned out areas around town. Thank you, Wolf Creek 4-H.
Dixie Fire Collaborative Meeting
The next meeting of the Dixie Fire Collaborative will take place this Saturday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Greenville Elementary School multipurpose room (cafeteria). There’s a zoom link for the meeting for those of us who cannot make it there in person both on the facebook page and the new website: www.dixiefirecollaborative.org,
Nelz Towne Pump
Never have people been so excited to see walls going up at a construction site! Along with the gas pumps celebrated earlier this month, comes the walls of the station store itself. Thanks to Beatty Construction and Pete Singh for moving forward to getting the first burnt business structure back up and running.
United Way of Northern California
NorCal United still has gift cards of up to $500 for one-time financial relief per household for primary residences that suffered at least 50 percent damage. Contact Lara Wheeler at the Resource Center for more info. There’s also a link on the Rebuilding Greenville facebook page.
Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center
The Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center (RGRC) has heating assistance for Dixie fire survivors who have woodstoves, another type of heating system, or no heating system and who need help with fuel or repairs.
The resource center keeps in stock the following: electric and propane heaters, 16 oz. propane cylinders, propane hoses, RV skirting, window insulation, weather stripping, and more. RGRC may also be able to help find a solution for individuals whose woodstove needs a repair they cannot afford.
Currently the resource center has a few dozen cords of dry seasoned almond wood on hand and they are delivering truckloads to residents. RGRC also provides kerosene, emergency propane refills, and weatherization materials. For all heating assistance related needs, contact Penney Robbins at (530) 282-7000.
The resource center has a small food pantry and donated grocery store gift certificates for people in need. There are also baby supplies available. RGRC has pureed food pouches for toddlers, powdered formula, diapers, clothing, and other supplies. Center staff and volunteers can provide parents and guardians with gift certificates or help with signing up for the WIC nutrition program.
In addition, the resource center has warm winter clothing available including a few boots and snow pants.
The center is also receiving regular donation deliveries for pets and livestock including help to pay for veterinarian services.
The center reminds readers that there are new and gently used household items available for those whose homes burned including camp equipment for those living outdoors, but not for ‘recreational campers.’
There’s a sign-up sheet for people who need an operating refrigerator. While none are available at this time, Plumas Rural Services and the Dixie Fire Collaborative are working on this project.
Case management services continue to be available to survivors via phone. This can include anything from identifying needs to putting together a plan of action to get re-established, including assistance to apply for financial support from the Dixie Fire Collaborative. For case management support, contact Nancy Presser at (530) 283-2735 x832 or Irshad Stolden at (530) 283-2735 x831.
For all other unmet needs, donations, and questions about RGRC, contact coordinator Lara Wheeler via text (her preferred method of communication) at (530) 778-4309, phone at 530-283-2735, x833, or fax at (530) 778-4309.
PG & E Wood Donations
Residents have access to free firewood thanks in part to PG&E along with the Greenville Southern Baptist Church. PG&E is donating wood from hazard trees cut near power lines in Plumas County.
About once a week, a tree contractor delivers 30-cubic yards of wood each trip or about 6.5 cords. The utility will scale up or down the deliveries based on the local needs.
Pastor Terry Jones of the church says anyone can collect wood at any time as it is outdoors and there is no stated limit. “People are really good at taking what they need for the time so that wood is available for others,” said Pastor Terry Jones of the GSBC.
The church also receives donations of wood from others, such as from orchards. Jones says PG&E donates mostly pine, which is easier to burn and can help ignite the hard orchard wood.
Youth Voices: Speaking of Fire
Information goes out to Plumas County schools today about the Youth Voices: Speaking of Fire program sponsored by Pachuca Productions which will take place over Memorial Weekend in Greenville. Youth from kindergarten to college are welcome to write, draw, paint and tell the story of their experience in the Dixie Fire. The event will also include a pop-up art gallery of images and words from the Dixie Fire Stories Project (Joanne Burgueno and Sara Gray). The call for stories large and small by Indian Valley youth has a deadline of April 15. Students now living outside the valley are also encouraged to participate. For more information call (714) 746-4093 or write [email protected].
Sierra Institute & Indian Valley Strong
Sierra Institute has much to report regarding its fundraising campaign:
A giant THANK YOU goes out to the residents of Indian Valley, Plumas and Lassen counties and beyond. They simply have outdone themselves. Through the “Double Your Donation” campaign, launched by a challenge grant from Sandy Mailliard—former Greenville resident, volunteer firefighter and Sierra Institute partner of the year in 2019—people contributed $101,681, leading to a matched grant total of $201,681 to support Sierra Institute and its Indian Valley Strong program to help the people of Greenville, Indian Falls, and Canyon Dam recover.
The Indian Valley Strong program has already dedicated over $80,000 to those who lost jobs or homes or were challenged by the Dixie Fire. Over $20,000 has been given to Plumas Rural Services to support the Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center. Donations were also used to provide emergency shelter for those with housing and housing safety issues.
Indian Valley Strong also purchased Nelz Town Pump gift cards and Evergreen gift certificates to ease the burden of increased gas and food prices for fire survivors while supporting locally owned businesses.
Donations also allowed Indian Valley Strong to support Coppercreek Camp, as they rebuild from Dixie Fire losses and work towards providing short-term housing solutions to families displaced this past summer. Indian Valley Strong has contributed $10,000 to support the Phase-0 planning initiative brought forth by the Dixie Fire Collaborative.
Another big thank you goes to Carol Franchetti, who turned the Carol’s Café 50th Anniversary celebration into a Dixie Fire fundraiser. The first donation totaling $12,000 went to Terry Penny of Canyon Dam, to help her replace her food truck.
A second donation of just under $7,000 went to Indian Valley Grind, Rachel Goings’ new food truck business that will replace Sierra Sunrise in Greenville, which Goings had just purchased and was fixing up before the fire.
How is Your Recovery Going?
Feel free to send us photographs and stories to follow up on of your own recovery to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.